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Parking is No Holiday in Waikiki

A lot of parking issues only exist in specific scenarios. Manhattan has different parking challenges than Overland, Kansas. Las Vegas has different parking  requirements than Juno, Alaska.

My hometown, for instance, doesn’t have a lot of parking issues because it’s small, lightly populated and light on traffic. There is a problem near one neighborhood where truckers have begun to congregate. Either they live in the area and park their trucks while they stop by home or they’re tired and need a nap. Residents don’t like the noise or the traffic, and the streets are now signed “no parking after 10 pm.”

In Waikiki, a special combination of factors make parking difficult. The city is on an island, it’s highly populated and a huge tourist destination. Parking is scarce, as well as extremely desirable. According to hawaiinewsnow.com, city leaders are proposing to double the price of metered parking.

A bill before the city council would double the cost to park in Waikiki from $1.50 to $3 per hour at a metered stall. It also would require that meters would have to be fed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Currently, parking is free after 6 p.m.

Tourists don’t have to worry about parking in Waikiki day to day, so it’s the thousands of residents and working people in Waikiki who are most affected. They’ve got to get to work whether there’s parking or not. Some are afraid higher parking costs will make life even harder. City officials say the result will be the opposite.

“When parking is free, it’s almost impossible to find,” said Rick Egged of the Waikiki Improvement Association. “I always say free parking is no parking.”

Waikiki is a good working model for any city with high need and low inventory. Time will tell whether higher prices free up parking or just punish locals.

Read the article here.

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